Photo Credits: Bruce Taubert (owl); Claire Curran (cover) / Arizona Highways
Every day, wildlife abounds in Marana’s desert landscape. Tortoises crawl, diamondbacks slither, and mule deer trot through this beautiful land. When the human residents of Marana go to bed, though, their flying mammalian cousins are just getting started. This month, Arizona Highways is putting the spotlight on Lesser Long-Nosed Bats and how this corner of Arizona has banded together to learn more about these denizens of the night.
For eight years, an army of “citizen scientists” from Marana has diligently documented the behaviors of the Town’s bat population. The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have enlisted this corps of volunteers to observe the patterns of these night fliers, particularly around backyard hummingbird feeders. Marana’s Environmental Project Manager Janine Spencer takes a special joy in this endeavor. “It’s so much fun to go out on the back porch and see them zooming all around,” she explains to Matt Jaffe in his article for Arizona Highways. It appears she’s not alone in her fascination with bats, since she’s joined in this pursuit by around 100 other amateur naturalists from Marana.
“Marana is fortunate to be home to such remarkable wildlife,” remarks Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. “We’re excited that Arizona Highways has included us in their coverage of bats throughout the state.” To read the article, pick up a copy of the October issue of Arizona Highways, which is now available on newsstands, and to find out more about all the powerful ways that nature helps define Marana, visit our new tourism portal, DiscoverMarana.org.